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I have to start by saying that I've had this film on videotape for so long and have seen it so many times that I believe the tape must be damaged by now. I'm a huge fan of Francis Ford Coppola's films, not only his "Godfather" films, but also what he has produced in the 80's and 90's. "One from the Heart" stands as one of most beautiful and poetic art pieces I've seen, ever. He created an entire world on set, something that resembles Vegas, but that I feel, extends a bit beyond that, someplace where love does exist (and Frederic Forrest and Terri Garr are great, because they do represent the average man and woman that want to surpass their mediocrity and have the dream, represented by the late Raul Julia and the gorgeous Nastassja Kinski). The beautiful score by Tom Waits, and the entire dance acts are so wonderfully entwined, that it's impossible not to feel the taste of real cinema there. The cinematography is stunning and I can only sum this up by saying that this film is an incredible experience to watch. Please do so.
Many film fans are keenly aware of the circumstances surrounding Francis
Coppola's "One From the Heart." It was the first film to launch his self
financed Zoetrope Studios. He recruited many of the industries best and
brightest for the production. It was Coppola's follow up to the legendary
"Apocalypse Now." The film was supposed to mark a new direction for
filmmaking as a whole. Zoetrope was to be a place where directors and
storytellers could produce their films without studio interference. The
artists would control the medium, not the business men. And with "One
the Heart", Coppola's dream came to a thundering halt after just one
Though not as well known, it stands along side "Heaven's Gate" as a film
that proved that the wonder directors of the 70's would not be given the
keys to the castle. "Heart" was that once in a decade disaster and it's
hard to see why it was such an ignored film. It turns out that this story
behind the film is far more interesting to follow than the film
"One From the Heart" is as stylized as films can come. Shot entirely on the sets at Zoetrope, "Heart" attempts to tell the story of Franny and Hank, a long together couple possibly nearing the end of their rope with one another. The couple calls it quits and they seek solitude in the arms of more adventuresome lovers for one night in an entirely reproduced Las Vegas. Coppola's decision to cast Frederic Forest and Teri Garr seems daring at first, almost brave. But casting two such down to Earth actors against the overwhelming design of "One From the Heart" leaves the two with nothing to do but drown under the neon cinematography. Garr and Forest give it a go, but their problems seem minor against the wave of the film itself. It's possible no two actors could've asserted themselves against this backdrop. Coppola has infused every shot in "Heart" with enough technique and design that he seems to have completely forgotten to add any element of genuine drama into the proceedings. The story never moves far beyond the 'will they stay together or break up' arc. It isn't without possibility, but it's more suited to a smaller more intimate scale, not the phantasmagoric, neon coated reality that constantly draws attention to itself that Coppola labors to construct. All the design is admirable and on occasion very gorgeous. But it won't take an astute viewer very long to see that "One From the Heart" is a film more intended to be looked at than actually watched. A technological achievement in filmmaking? Yes. A genuinely involving film? No.
Despite disliking the film I'm glad to see it's finally available on DVD in a watchable format. Viewers can finally see this much maligned film for themselves and decide about its merits. The film is also noted for it's songs and score by Tom Waits and Crystal Gail.
When I went to see this movie I didn't expect much of it, but I was wrong. What we have here is a very good Francis Coppola's reinvention of a musical made in 1982. A beautifully filmed and well acted romantic film with wonderful music score and songs from Tom Waits, who was then nominated for Oscars in the Best Song category for this picture. "One from the Heart" was entirely filmed on Coppola's Zoetrope Studios, what brings to memory great movies of the Hollywood Studio Era. It really contributes perfectly to create "dreamy" mood of the film, it feels like a dream wondering through studio night Las Vegas probably as false as the real Las Vegas itself. And on this background we have a very simple and sweet romantic story of a love crisis in a relationship of a simple American couple wonderfully played by Terri Garr and Frederic Forrest. Perhaps it´s a kind of movie that you either love or hate. I loved it. 9/10
One of the most amazing accomplishments of a master filmmaker, Coppola built
Las Vegas on a soundstage to achieve a deliberate level of artificiality.
The story is "boy and girl fight, have flings and get back together"...a
simple schematic to hang the visuals on.
One has to pay attention to the songs by Tom Waits; half the plot is told by the lyrics. In addition to Frederic Forrest as the male lead "Hank" and Teri Garr as "Franny", Harry Dean Stantion as Hank's friend and Lanie Kazan as Franny's, and Raul Julia and Nastassja Kinski, Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle are a "greek chorus", commenting on the action and the inner thoughts of Hank and Franny.
Coppola used a number of knock-out "in camera" effects, including scrims and half-silvered mirrors. Also, he worked closely with Sony to develop "Electronic Cinema" - this may be the first electronically edited film. He was roundly criticized for this at the time, but of course now virtually every film is electronically edited.
This film was shot in 4:3, with prime lenses for amazing depth of field. It is optimally seen on a large projection screen.
"One From The Heart" is one of my favorite films. It's not a conventional film, nor was it intended to be.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film has always been a favorite. My wife and I have worn out two video versions over the years, as well as a copy of the soundtrack LP (being big Tom Waits fans also). Needless to say, we were thrilled to see it finally come out on DVD. What a joke. Somewhere along the line Coppola must have decided that it could be improved upon, and managed to destroy it in the process. From the opening scenes it's a mess. The music has even been relocated. In the original version there's very little dialog needed in the beginning because the song lyrics perfectly describe what's going on. Not any more. Not only do the lyrics no longer match what's happening on the screen, but there's even dialog on top of the lyrics in spots. Scenes were added that actually take away from the film while a few favorite spots have been cut out. One truly bad judgment call is where there was a love scene with Teri Garr and Raul Julia followed by one with Fredric Forrest and Nastassja Kinski. In the new "improved" version it cuts back and forth between the two scenes like the viewers attention span must not be long enough to remember what happened last. There are also some harsh scene cuts now in the film that weren't there in the original (including one extra bad one where the music is abruptly cut off). One of the most impressive things about the original release was the way the film flowed from beginning to end much like a stage play. That's gone. One thing I can't figure out is the other reviewers of this film that are watching the DVD copy after seeing it on video, yet none of them seem to notice the difference. How is that possible? If the DVD version had been the original release back in 1982, I wouldn't be writing this now. I would have only seen the film once, and would have forgotten it immediately. In spite of the unfair rap this film got in the beginning, I've always defended it as one of Coppola's best works. He gambled and lost everything on this film including his studio complex in the process. It took many years and films to pay back the debts, but the end result was a cinematic beauty that stood on it's own merits. Sadly, what's left of it can't even do that now. I give the original release a rating of 10, but the new version isn't worth rating at all.
Yes, this movie did absolutely horrible in theaters when it was released in
1982. I saw it about 1984 on disk (CED) and was surprised. Along with the
weird lighting (it was filmed on a HUGE sound stage) and strange character
reactions....something in this move touched me deeply. Along with all of it
I found a kernal....a morsel......some real gem that made this otherwise
trite movie quite rich. Rich enough I saw the movie again....and am
considering purchase of a copy.
Apparently I am one of the 5% who actually LIKED the movie....who didn't demand their ticket money back.
We DO exist, you know....
Francis Ford Coppola and Zoetrope Studios went nearly bankrupt for this movie and it's worth every tear they must have shed! Having built the entire Las Vegas strip inside an enormous sound stage (which cost many $), Coppola was able to control every little visual nuance (just like the master, Fellini). Coppola created neon sunsets and an electric glow to bathe his cris-crossed little love story about two people looking for magic in fantasy land. Songs by Tom Waits and sung as ironic commentary by Waits and Crystal Gayle add an extra cynical spice.
I'm glad this film is finally being re-released. The trailer states it's "the movie you never saw," but quite a few of us did see it. I loved it in 1982 (3?), so much so that I went out and bought the S/T, which I still listen to (yes kids, on vinyl). Just saw the film again, and except for being a tad embarrassed that we wore such silly clothes back then, I think it holds up beautifully. Yes, it could have been cast differently. But the point was to drop the normal-looking, average joe and mary into a fantasy setting. IT'S SUPPOSED TO LOOK FAKE. The sets are gorgeous! It's based on what Vegas used to look like, before they tore it all down and put up that oversized Disneyland. The music is some of the best Tom Waits has ever made--I only just learned that Waits selected Crystal Gayle; (FFC had requested Bette Midler (after hearing her duet w/ Waits on "Never Talk to Strangers") having listened to this LP for 20 years I'm glad he did. There's not much to the story, (no back story, no character development), but there's not supposed to be. Doncha think FFC could've made that film if he'd wanted to? (and really, we've had 20 years of films that pick apart relationships ad nauseum). This film works the way it was intended to. Sit back and enjoy it, it's musical fantasy-realism, it doesn't matter that Nattassja can't sing.
Dreamy ! Sedate and defined ! I first watched this movie when I was on my own and it made me think of my girlfriend .It is so fantasy in a modern day setting that it cannot fail to enchant .I don't know if it is charming or stark but it does have realism in an unreal state .The story is simple but nevertheless believable .You know how they feel ! It is one of my favourites and it takes me away to a fantasy place - I have not taken drugs but I imagine that this is what is would be like .It is a fantasy world of warmth and seduction , bright and shiny coupled with building site realism and everyday feelings .You truly suspend realism and that is what films are supposed to be about .If you are looking to escape for a couple of hours , watch this
I have never been in the United States, least of all in New York. But
through some directors' works I have built up an image of the city that
never sleeps that's made of jazz, petty crooks and gangsters, Godard-lovers,
intellectual wanna-be socialite... For all I know, New York is what can be
seen through the eyes of Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese... and Francis Ford
I would pretty much compare ONE FROM THE HEART to Allen's MANHATTAN, in the sense that both are new-yorkers visions of romance and beauty, filtered through a broadway theatrical and glamorous sensibility. This film, however, unlike MANHATTAN, isn't about New York. It's about spining through the spotlights of a city that parties all night long (cabarets, jazz, dance and magical flirts), only to realize that in the end, it's going to be your simple significant other waiting for you in the backstage.
The staging of the whole movie helps a lot, in the sense that's it's all filmed in studio. Magical skies and dawns that make it easy to pass from a store-window directly to a sunset in Bora-Bora; lust and life and music in what I would consider the last great musical. Every once in a while, Coppola gives us a glimpse of his more passionate side. This would then be the sunny side of the melancholic DRACULA.
Add to the magical staging the nightly cabaret-like musical score by Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle and one can't help but be amazed with it all. And I thought I was surprised by Woody Allen's EVERYONE SAYS I LOVE YOU.
If this is the way new-yorkers see life, that's the city I want to live in.
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